The Winter Blues Are Setting In

An article by posted on December 1, 2010

I’m a little frustrated about the pace of our offseason so far, with regards to player acquisitions either via trade or free agency.

We’ve heard so much in the last two months about this new philosophy and how everything is going to be so much better, and we haven’t had one move that we can pick apart and analyze yet.

I wish they’d throw us a bone or something.

What we do know is that we’ll be short two players, both pitchers, both relievers, and both left handers. But have no fear as I hear that Pat Misch is ready, willing and able, and Oliver Perez is dealing south of the border. Small favors.

For about five minutes, the Mets hot stove was abuzz with Chris Young mania, but before we could luck up his FIP (only joking, I still have no idea what that is) Chris Young himself snuffed out the fire with a bucket of ice water.

The Winter Meetings begin in just six days, but we were already warned not to expect and trades or free agent signings next week, and that whatever moves the Mets do make, are likely to come after January 1st when it’s believed the remaining players become more desperate and willing to take less money.

My problem with that is why does a team in the New York market have to build their team by picking players from the bargain bin during the After-Christmas Sale?

Was this why the Wilpons sought a new front office stocked with executives that all have small market backgrounds and whose claim to fame was building a team on a shoestring budget?

Somehow, this fact was overlooked during the Wilpons annual All Apologies Tour, and in fact they made it sound like whatever the new GM wants, the new GM gets. Really?

So all the new GM wants is $5 million dollars in pocket change to rebuild a floundering franchise, fill nine empty roster spots, and fulfill his campaign promise that the Mets are in it to win it in 2011?

This sounds more like “I Have No Money Ball” than it does “Moneyball”.

Doesn’t it?

I think even Bill James would be shocked based on statements he made in an interview just before Thanksgiving for CBS Sports.

When he was asked about the Mets new front office and how the Moneyball philosophy play in New York, he replied:

Those are some really competent people there. Part of the problem is that it is surprisingly difficult to use a small-market strategy in a large market. The gambles that you might take when you don’t have options don’t look so attractive when you have the money to pursue better options. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to get around that.

So even the godfather of the statistical revolution agrees that in a big market like New York, penny pinching is usually the least attractive option.

Can you believe that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran can both be ex-Mets by this time next year? And David Wright could be one as well the year after that? Reyes is starting his ninth season as a major leaguer, and Beltran just raced through his seven year deal faster than you could say microfracture surgery. Seven years ago today we were dreaming of two or three trips to the World Series and instead we had none.

This upcoming season, Wright, Reyes, Beltran and Santana, our core players, will most likely play their final season together as teammates. Who would have thunk it?

And for their last hurrah, the Mets are attacking the offseason with barely enough money to sign a decent setup man or even a number five starter.

How pumped up for 2011 does this make you?

Yeah, I know, I’m just singing the Winter blues…

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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